Breaking With Tradition

Christmas tree Park Hyatt, Buenos Aires slimpaley.com

 I think it would be safe to say I’m not that big on change, especially at this time of year.  Our family always follows the same tradition for Christmas. Big, bushy tree, same decades-old ornaments, freshly sliced & dried oranges hanging amidst flickering candle light bulbs and that Angel with Attitude who unfailingly gives me grief with her wonky ways atop the tree (I swear she’s a midnight drinker) We’re blessed to live in a home that lends itself to traditional east coast Christmas decor, despite living in Southern California so it’s something I’ve really come to enjoy. Occasionally my husband or sons request brightly coloured lights (and believe me, in my weaker moments the temptation to string lights that don’t need to be attached individually, burn out every few days or point straight up is tempting) but I just…could…never…do it.

Until this year.

metal and glass Christmas tree

This year was a Big One for my husband and so guess what-

I let him choose what he wanted for Christmas.

I know. What a wife. Speaking of angels :-)

So, here we are in South America!

Patagonia, to be precise.

(The silver, glass & marble tree is in the Park Hyatt Hotel in Buenos Aires but more on B.A. in another post)

Now a family excursion to Patagonia must be organized and booked a long time in advance. A year in fact. Believe it or not, in this ever broadening era of globalization, even the last edge of the world before Antarctica is a real hot spot.

Did I ever expect I’d be having shoulder surgery 2 months prior to our departure? Hell no, but canceling was definitely not an option ( I’d canceled once before…not such an angel, truth be told :-(  I was scared to break with tradition!)

And the fact that I literally couldn’t do any Christmas decorating or entertaining ended up working perfectly (and guilt-free) into our original travel plans. The tipsy angel stayed in the attic, the stair bannisters remained nude as can be and we’ve had a pretty wild adventure here with nary a dried orange slice in sight.

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The hotel blackboard posting all the daily activities. Patagonia obviously attracts a very outdoorsy type of clientele.

No jokes, please.

Of course my physical abilities were somewhat more limited than usual, but I could certainly hike…

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Enjoy the views, lift a knife & fork and a glass or two.

Vegetarians should now skip the next couple of photos.

lamb roast slimpaley.com

Christmas Day Lunch was, again, something completely different for us; lamb roasted at a local working ranch in Chile.

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FYI-the wines in Argentina and Chile are DELICIOUS (that’s not my husband beside me, just in case you were wondering)

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The scenery is utterly breathtaking.

I have so many more things to share with you, but I’m calling it a night here, it’s late (it stays light until almost 11pm!) and the day begins bright and early tomorrow.

glacier, Patagonia slimpaley.com

Enjoy these last few days of 2013!!

XXSP

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PS. can anyone tell me if they are seeing unwanted ads, or any ads for that matter at the bottom of my posts? Thanks!

BELIEVE

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Happy Holidays to All!!

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I hope you’re enjoying a beautiful, sparkling, joy-filled Christmas day.

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Full of the sensations of The Season

The gift of family & good friends

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The exchange of ethereal delights, delicious food, delectable libations

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Fairy dust

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Light

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and Wonder

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Chanel Pre-Spring 2014

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Chanel Pre-Spring 2014

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but remember the stars often land upon the ground too
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My front porch Sun Valley

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Blessings & Warmest Tidings to all my faithful and fun Slim Paley readers over the years

And to All a Good Night!!

xoxox

SP

One Year Ago Today

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all uncredited photos via Flickr & Pinterest

 shooting star lights via MarthaStewart.com

Slim Paley photo of tepee at Santa Barbara Magazine Christmas party, decor by Gypset.com

Abundance

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Hey there. Only 8 more days before Christmas!

So can I get a high-five on being the blog to decide (and worse, announce) a total design/format face-lift between Thanksgiving and Christmas?!

Ya, that won’t be happening until after the New Year.

WHAT was I thinking?!

I’ve no idea. Why didn’t anybody stop me?!

Let’s just pretend it never happened and try to enjoy one or two Christmasy posts before the 25th.

New Year, New Face.

Back to Christmas.

The sheer abundance of holiday inspiration available on the internet is both stunning and staggering. Remember when we used to buy maybe a 1/2 dozen (tops) December magazines, tear out a few images and be on our merry way?

Oh, the good old days

Now the choices, the themes, the internet shopping, the 500 different types of LED lights…

What to make of it all?

sugar dipped cranberries

There’s something to be said for just sugar-coating some cranberries, cracking open the champagne and calling it a day.

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You can stick with the tried and true, the bells and gingham of childhood memory

silver & red

Or…

Grand Hall

You can DECK THOSE HALLS DAMMIT

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What are you up for?!

Christmas tableRelatively simple, yet lush?

door wreath

Keeping it fresh?

roses, Bristol Hotel, slimpaley.com

Flowers in the Hotel Bristol, Paris

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Miho Kosuda NYC

silver platter chargerI’ll let you in on a little secret-

I’m so stealing this idea of using vintage serving trays as chargers. Someday. When I add to my collection of 3. Local Santa Barbara antique enthusiasts back off. It was my idea…OK, it wasn’t, but at least give me a two week lead. Professional courtesy as it were :-)

christmas cocktails slimpaley.comA little bar in my dining room last year.

Or…

wine on ice

Just throw some ice and a few pinecones into a bowl and get on with it.

cmas234It’s all good…

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First Instagram image of “Botanik” in Summerland, California (a great florist/gift shop)

Sugar coated cranberries via PeachyTheMag

Uncredited images via Pinterest

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Oh #$&^*%(#… It’s December!!

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Wait

Does the calendar say December 8th already??

et moi, without a single post up yet for the month?.

I guess that old kidnapping story won’t fly again.

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or  “the dog ate my computer” excuse.

To tell the truth, the days have flown by and I’m as surprised as anyone that Christmas is just a little more than two weeks away.

I’m out of my sling, driving again and continuing physical therapy but, with no offense (my therapist is adorable) the process alternates between being boring, guilt provoking and painful (insert your old relationship’s name here)

The upside is I’ve found I have a ton of company. I’ve joined a ‘Torn Rotator Cuff Society’ where we all give secret “Live Long and Prosper” salutes, albeit with awkwardly hunched-up shoulders.

Christmas will be different in our home this year. I’m not decorating in our traditional fashion, so unfortunately, I won’t have my usual Christmas fare to share. It would be impossible for me to get on a ladder to dress the tree. Let’s get real, I still can’t even tie up my hair.

OK, let’s get really real, did I mention I gained 10 lbs? NO JOKE, therefore not at all funny so stop laughing!

Who would imagine that months of no exercise, a steady diet of comfort food and a newly acquired penchant for red wine would be so deleterious??

But I don’t really like to talk about weight, diets and yucky things so we’ll leave that there.

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December sunset in Santa Barbara

Changes are afoot for ‘Slim Paley’. Good changes (hopefully)

After 4 years it’s time.

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Somebody forgot to tell my roses it was December.

I’ll be tinkering with my entire format and design, so please bear with me in the following weeks.  I need to address issues such as my crowding columns and “Category Cloud” disappearance.

Let’s face it-”Slim” needs a lift

I’d like to return to shorter, more frequent posts and possibly include some short videos too.

2014 Baby!!

In the meantime, please do visit my past December posts in the Archives,

as well as The Popular Kids,

and my Travel tab which I’ve been updating slowly but surely.

More new travel coming soon!

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Keep your cool in the crowds, don’t let the holidays make you crazy, and remember…

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to breathe.

And feel free to comment with any great holiday tips for us :-)

Happy December!!

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Dog photo via Pinterest

Merry Christmas!!

Merry Christmas Everyone!

It was way past 8:00am here and not a creature was stirring, not even the proverbial mouse. Long gone are the days our boys were bursting into our bedroom well ahead of the sunrise, we still bleary-eyed from Santa antics only hours before. Pause for a moment of melancholy here.   OK. It’s over.

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By 9:30am I was on my 3rd cup of tea, had read my favourite blogs and broken into the dessert cheeses for breakfast. Hey-it’s Christmas.

When everyone was finally up and lounging around the living room opening presents at a very mature pace, I completely forgot I’d left apple cider cooking on the stove for over an hour (OK, two) in the kitchen. The house is now permeated with the scent of charred sugar. That sounds a lot better than it smells. Good-bye favourite saucepan. Though I feel lucky it brought to our attention a faulty smoke alarm. Silver Lining for sure. (BTW, have you seen that movie yet? We watched it last night and really enjoyed it)

ornaments christmas , slimpaley.com

Hoping our roasting turkeys will soon be filling the house with a much more pleasant aroma-I’m cooking two small ones (as to have more brown meat and crispy skin!) plus a giant ham. I’m happy to say our older son is feeling quite a bit better and will be able to partake in some food & fun.

currin_thanksgivingArtist John Currin

Christmas table , slimpaley.comI’ll also take some time to be so thankful for life’s blessings, especially the good health and happiness of my family and friends. This Christmas we are all holding many families in our hearts and prayers.

890A5214Another blessing I will count-having this forum in which I get to share all manner of randomness with you lovely people. I can’t tell you how much fun it’s been to have found this creative outlet at this particular time in my life.

Well, it’s time to go flip my birds

From my home to yours;

I WISH YOU A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS, PEACE , JOY & PLENTY OF LOVE.

xoxox

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